Refugees escaping socialised medicine

Evening news programmes are filled with stories of Americans chartering buses to Canada to purchase prescription drugs at state-controlled, bargain prices. This week, however, a busload of Canadians made the trip in reverse, as they went from New Brunswick, Canada, to Bangor, Maine.

The socialised medicine refugees were searching for free-market medical services the Canadian health-care system has priced out of the market:

  • They were looking for specialist care, tests which require long waits in Canada and drugs not yet approved at home.

  • Canadian patients are often required to try older, less-effective drugs before being allowed access to newer medicines – and government price controls mean some medicines are not available at all.

    Although not as well publicised as American trips to Canada, thousands of Canadians cross the border daily in search of free-market medical solutions in the United States.

    Source: Editorial, The Cost of Price Controls, Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2003.

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    For more on Health Issues (Moving Toward Universal Coverage)

    FMF Policy Bulletin/29 July 2003
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